Raw materials exploitation in Prehistory:

Sourcing, processing and distribution

10-12 March 2016, Faro - Portugal



Pierre PETREQUIN - Laboratoire de chrono-écologie, CNRS, FRANCE (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Alison SHERIDAN - National Museums Scotland, SCOTLAND (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


In this congress, sessions, presentations and posters will be mostly oriented toward the archaeometrical approaches. Archaeometrical approaches are essential for the acquisition of detailed information that allows us to describe accurately each raw material and to link them between the archaeological site, its natural source and the ways how they were processed. 

However, the data gathered by these high-resolution methods is often insufficient to understand prehistoric human behavior if it is not merged with accurate informations gathered from the archaeological context and compared with hypothesis and models from actualistic studies, such as ethnography and ethno-archaeology.

Therefore, we propose an open session where we would like to bring together these two different but complementary avenues of approaching raw material sourcing, processing and distribution. Our goal is to reach closer the point of view of ancient populations, their ecological behavior, social network and ideal functioning of their societies.

We will accept case studies of complex situations where different archaeometrical approaches were mixed together with archaeological or (and) actualistic studies in order to reach more anthropological interpretations about some general questions of shared interest, such as: what criteria were people using to select their raw materials? Why and how was an artifact moving (or not) in a transfer system? For what purpose were the raw materials used in the context of the social and ideal points of view? What could have been the social conditions to such long distance circulations? Have we to deal only with technical artifacts or also with "object-signifiers”, socially over-valued materials, and so on…?